Spice/Spiceworld

“Spice up your life”, the Spice Girls advise on the first single from Spiceworld, their second album, which was made quickly to capitalise on the movie of the same name. If that sounds more like an advertising slogan than a call for variety, solidarity, and fun, it’s not the only time the disc echoes the […]

“Spice up your life”, the Spice Girls advise on the first single from Spiceworld, their second album, which was made quickly to capitalise on the movie of the same name. If that sounds more like an advertising slogan than a call for variety, solidarity, and fun, it’s not the only time the disc echoes the language of a carefully planned campaign: The chorus of “Move Over” is built around the phrase “Generation Next”, the rallying cry of the their Pepsi advert. And if, in turn, you come to the conclusion that this record isn’t nearly as much fun as its predecessor, you’re right. Any question about the creative input of Scary, Posh, Baby, Ginger, and Sporty into their own music is moot; like “Candle in the Wind 1997″, Spiceworld was made to be bought, not listened to. Sure, they trade vocals this time, leaning less on the Bananarama-style gang approach of their debut, and yeah, the Motown-lite confection “Stop” doesn’t exactly hurt the ear, but this disc is ultimately a bigger insult than anything a bunch of diehard anarchists such as Chumbawamba could imagine–without the kick of “Tubthumping”. It also ends on a note so jarring as to settle the group firmly in the avant-garde with the fake-lounge “Lady Is a Vamp”, which unfortunately praises Jackie O and Marilyn Monroe in the same verse, then ups the ante with a shout-out to Sandy Denny(!) as a Spicy role model. All together now: Uh huh. –Rickey Wright

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